County Transportation Metrics is a project of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and will provide a roadmap for setting transportation priorities.

San Juan County

Accessible only by water or air, San Juan County in northwest Washington state includes four large islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw and about 200 smaller islands. San Juan County is the smallest county in the state by landmass. The San Juan Islands became an undisputed part of the US following the Pig War boundary dispute with Great Britain. The county seat and county's only incorporated city is Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Fishing and farming dominated the county's economy until the 1970's when tourism expanded. Due to the large tourism component of the economy, employment in the county is highly seasonal. At the peak of the summer tourist season, the county's overnight population more than doubles.

Not surprisingly, the tourist industry is the leading employer, while construction accounts for the largest percentage of retail sales. Real estate and banking are also important. Many residents are retired and a substantial number who work are self-employed.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 15,900
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      .5%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.) 173.91
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 91.43


Friday Harbor                                                        2,180

Major Highways

  • San Juan County is the only county in Washington not to have state highways

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
Maintenance Expenditures
$ 3,513,000
Preservation Expenditures
$ 1,767,068
Improvement Expenditures

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 34,957,798
Total Expenditures
$ 36,515,320
Transportation Expenditures
$ 6,518,356

Performance Measures

Links & Sources

Washington State Association of Counties
206 Tenth Avenue SE | Olympia, WA 98501 | (360) 753-1886 | Fax (360) 753-2842
Copyright © 2015  •  All Rights Reserved